North south vulnerable

North south vulnerable

Play Bridge: Balancing action over a weak three

"West has a seven-loser hand and is down 500 if doubled at the three-level."

The bidding: West has a seven-loser hand and is down 500 if doubled at the three-level. The opponents can get +620 for a vulnerable game so Three Clubs is a good pre-empt.

West puts out the stop sign and then bids Three Clubs. He counts to ten silently and then puts the stop card away. Until the stop card is removed, all the players must appear in thought. How fast someone bids should not convey information to the other players. When the stop card is removed, North can immediately make the bid he had been thinking about.

North has a scattered 13 points and refrains from a disastrous Three Spade call. East has a special bid reserved in case North does not pass. North passes and East also passes in tempo so South has no unauthorized information.  South balances with a Three-Heart bid because he has the right shape and about ten points. North devalues the Club Queen and passes.

The Play: East leads his stiff spade. Whenever a player pre-empts and does not lead his own suit, he is showing a singleton. East wins the Spade Queen and exits a small club. West wins the King and returns a club to East’s Ace. Now East cashes the Spade Ace and tries to give West a ruff, but declarer ruffs with the Eight and West cannot over-ruff.

However, because of the ruff, declarer only gets two pitches on the Spades and must lose a diamond. If the defense did not take their club tricks, declarer would lose two Spades and a Diamond making Four Hearts. With the correct defense, Three Hearts is down one for -100.

With a different 13 points, North could have raised the balancing bid to game. Such an appropriate hand would have no points in the opponent’s suit and more points in Aces and Kings and not Queens and Jacks. If he had the Ace and King of Spades, the Ace of Hearts and the King of Diamonds, North would have raised the Three Heart bid to game. This shows how bidding is not simply a matter of just counting points, but it is also a matter of point evaluation.

Final Pre-empt Note: Andersen and Zenkel in their book, “Pre-empts from A to Z,” state that the accuracy of opponent’s bidding varies inversely as the square of the level of the pre-empt. Therefore, one always must pre-empt to the highest level as it is safe to do so which means that pre-empts should be ultimately based on the loser-count and not just the suit length.

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Trees blown over by a windstorm in forest owned by Anderson Creek Timber. Photo: Anderson Creek Timber
Timber company logging near Nelson raises local concerns

Anderson Creek Timber owns 600 hectares of forest adjacent to the city

Keith Smyth, Kootenay Savings director at-large joins children from the Kids’ Care Centre at St. Michael’s Catholic School. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay Savings continues credit union’s tradition of giving

Funding totalling $48,250, is going to a wide array of Kootenay initiatives

From left: Karl Luedtke (West Arm Outdoors Club), Dale Williams (BCWF), Molly Teather (FLNORD), Gord Grunerud (West Arm Outdoors Club), Eugene Volokhov (Grand Prize Winner), Casey McKinnon and Lex Jones (Jones Boys Boats). Photo: Tammy White, Whitelight Photography
Balfour man lands big prize from angler incentive program

Eugene Volokhov of Balfour is now the proud owner of a sleek 18-foot Kingfisher boat

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Most Read